Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Falling In Love, Part II

Just so y’all don’t think I’m totally clueless (well, maybe only 90%) here’s a follow-up to yesterday’s post about falling in love (and an analysis of the comment by Anonymous.)

See, fiction requires conflict and tension. I mean, who wants to read about characters whose lives hum along in perfect harmony? So ROMANTIC fiction, almost by definition, requires a hero and heroine totally at odds, both in terms of how they relate to each other and what’s going on in their worlds. At the extreme (and, in fact, most common) are the two characters who begin the story despising each other. No wonder it’s hard to bring ‘em around, huh? Who actually starts this way in real life?

Anyway, borrowing from Tami Cowden, I like to fashion my fictional relationships on the three-step formula. It’s simple, it makes sense, and it’s workable. First comes respect, then comes trust, and finally, love. Okay, that may be a bit TOO simple ‘cuz it lacks the indefinable leap to love (otherwise, we’d all marry our high school band teachers), but let’s just assume the rest springs from chemistry.

Now, going back to yesterday’s comment by Anonymous (let’s call him Fred and his ladylove, Ethyl): when they met, there was no antipathy—no dislike—no conflict, ergo no traditional romance story (sorry, folks). Their external conflicts were separate and OUTSIDE of their personal dynamic, but they shared similar INNER conflicts. Ethyl was mired in an abusive relationship and Fred--well, he doesn’t go into it, but says there was baggage there was well. Over the course of time, I’m guessing Ethyl poured out her heart along with the afternoon cocktails. Fred probably did a little of the same. Obviously, Ethyl respected Fred enough to confide in him, and vice versa. As the months passed, they must have grown to trust each other as they unburdened their souls. Then came the cataclysmic day when Ethyl knew she had to make a life-changing decision. She reached out to Fred—the man she’d come to respect and trust—and when it was all said and done, she fell in love. Ditto for Fred.

Notice that nowhere in that narrative did the word “tight buns” or “great rack” appear.


Anonymous said...

Buns were tight in the beginning. Rack fell down as time and gravity hit (and Captain Morgan).
Fred :-)

Brooke said...

LOL!!!! Love the comment above!

But more about you! Love in real life is different thanlove in fiction...that's why we read romance...we wish it were like that...we love to cheer on the characters and berate them when they act dumb, advise them when they act dumber still, and congratulate them when they finally listen to us...cuz we are all so good at that game called love.

Anonymous said...

You mean Captain Morgan, cheap drug store perfume and supermarket discount chocolates, along with 70's style clothing won't do the trick? (And don't forget those plastic flowers that last forever!)
(Still heartbroken that Wilma went lesbian...was it my belly?)